Ratitoue, er, rattitoullie, uh, Ratuhtwoey? However you spell it, the only reason any of us have ever heard of this simple French vegetable dish is because of the Pixar movie. There’s actually a lot of different ways it can be made, but all of them involve thinly-slicing squash, peppers, onions, and usually eggplant into thin rounds and lining them around a pan with herbs and butter.

Since my garden is overflowing with zucchini and yellow squash, I thought this would be a great use for them, but I wanted to do something slightly different. First, I included slices of potatoes as well, which I think is a natural fit and also makes this work as a main dish instead of just a side. Secondly, it’s made in a slow cooker instead of being baked or sautéed. Finally, we’re pouring marinara sauce over the whole thing to add a great tomato flavor and give it a kind of stew-like feel.

In the end, you will have something that is VERY difficult to photograph (sorry), but the flavors are awesome, as the marinara slowly cooks into the tender veggies and potatoes. Plus, it’s so easy to make: just slice the veggies (with a mandolin if you have one), throw in some garlic and herbs, then drench in marinara sauce and let it slow cook for a few hours.

Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups marinara sauce (any kind)
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini
  • 2 yellow crookneck squash
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Ground cashews, for garnish

Note: You can remix this recipe in a number of ways. I omitted eggplant, but you could easily layer in some of that as well. You can use your favorite marinara or pasta sauce (or make marinara from scratch if you’re adventurous). Also feel free to throw in extra fresh herbs like thyme or tarragon.

Step One

Wash and slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash, red bell peppers, and red onion into thin rounds (1/8-inch or thinner). If you have a mandolin, that makes things much easier but you can also do it by hand. Also mince a few cloves of garlic and set aside.

Step Two

Pour one cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker, then (the hardest part) overlap the veggies and potatoes in a circular pattern around the edges (and fill in the middle) until you’ve used them all. Stop after each row and add a dash of salt, pepper, and minced garlic.

Note: you may not want to use full slices of onion on each level, feel free to use just 1-2 rings each time you layer the onions.

Step Three

Pour about 2 cups more sauce on top (it will slowly trickle down as it cooks) and slow-cook on high for about 3-4 hours until the potatoes are tender. To serve, garnish with some fresh basil and/or vegan “parmesan” which can be made by blending cashews (+ nutritional yeast and salt, if you’d like) in a high-powered blender until they’re pulverized.

Leftovers keep well for 2-3 days.